Sunday, July 7

Altered Tie-Dye T-shirt Challenge Featuring Megan of Generation T

While most fringe T-shirts have the fringe tailing off the bottom, I went with horizontal fringe on this one. The side fringe gives nice movement and flow to the tee, and it's a great project for making a slightly-too-big T-shirt into a just-right T-shirt. Add a touch of ombre tie-dye, and it's a perfect summertime staple. Throw it over your bathing suit, and head beachward!

What You Need:
-Plain T-shirt (one to two sizes larger than you'd ordinarily wear)
-Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit (includes rubber bands, bottles, dyes, two pairs of plastic gloves, and an instruction/inspiration sheet)
-Plastic table cloth or plastic garbage bag to cover your work surface
-Paper towels
-Plastic cling wrap or zip-lock bags
-Sewing machine with thread or needle and thread
-Safety pins (optional)
Note: If you're working with new T-shirts, pre-wash and dry them to make sure any shrinking that's going to happen has happened!
Cut off the ends of the sleeves, the bottom hem, and the neckband. Cut about 2" wider than the neckband, but not deeper.
Mark and stitch about 3" in from each side of the shirt through both layers. (I used safety pins to show the stitch path, since the thread line is too faint. Using safety pins also helps keep the layers together if you're stitching by hand).
Cut a small rectangular shape from the bottom of each of the sleeves as shown. (The top cut should line up with the end of each stitch line.)
Cut vertically up both sides of the T-shirt to separate the back and the front layers. Then cut 3/8"- to 1/2"-wide fringe up the side of the shirt, stopping just shy of the stitch line (be careful that you don't cut through!).
Cut fringe into the sleeves, too, stopping just shy of the shoulder seam. Pull at all of the fringe pieces so they stretch out and separate.
Dampen the T-shirt fully, prepare the dyes, and lay down a plastic surface to work on. To get the tie-dyed ombre look, accordion-fold the shirt from the bottom to the top and wrap six rubber bands as shown.
Apply the dye liberally in sections, then wrap the tie-dyed T-shirt in plastic wrap or a ziplock bag and let it sit overnight so the colors set. Then unwrap it, rinse it thoroughly in the sink, let it dry and it's ready to wear. (Make sure it's washed in its own laundry cycle the first time you wash it!)
NOTE: You can make a no-sew version of this shirt by cutting the fringe first and then knotting the front fringe piece with the corresponding back fringe all the way up and down both sides (the shoulder fringe remains unknotted). I like this version because it's quick (particularly if you are using a sewing machine), and the fringe pieces fall nicely without the bulk of the knots.


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